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Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together Intervention

Author

Listed:
  • Susan E. Mayer
  • Ariel Kalil
  • Philip Oreopoulos
  • Sebastian Gallegos

Abstract

Parental engagement plays a key role in children’s future success. We implemented a behaviorally informed field experiment designed to increase the time parents spend using a digital library on an electronic tablet to read to their children. Behavioral tools—reminders, goal setting, and social rewards—more than doubled the amount of time parents spent reading using the electronic application (one standard deviation effect size) after the six-week intervention. The largest gains were for the most present-oriented parents. Our findings suggest substantial promise for the application of behavioral tools to parenting activities that promote investment in children’s human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan E. Mayer & Ariel Kalil & Philip Oreopoulos & Sebastian Gallegos, 2019. "Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together Intervention," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 900-925.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:54:y:2019:i:4:p:900-925
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.54.4.0617.8835R
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    File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/54/4/900
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John A. List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2021. "How Experiments with Children Inform Economics," NBER Working Papers 28825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hélène Le Forner, 2021. "Formation of Children's Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Skills: Is All Parental Time Equal?," Working Papers halshs-03160526, HAL.
    3. Henning Hermes & Philipp Lergetporer & Frauke Peter & Daniela Simon Wiederhold, 2021. "Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment," Munich Papers in Political Economy 15, TUM School of Governance at the Technical University of Munich.
    4. Ajzenman, Nicolas & López Bóo, Florencia, 2019. "Lessons from Behavioral Economics to Improve Treatment Adherence in Parenting Programs: An Application to SMS," IZA Discussion Papers 12808, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Kalena E. Cortes & Hans D.U. Fricke & Susanna Loeb & David S. Song & Benjamin N. York, 2019. "When Behavioral Barriers are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions," NBER Working Papers 25964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Henning Hermes & Philipp Lergetporer & Frauke Peter & Simon Wiederhold, 2021. "Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1970, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Hermes, Henning & Lergetporer, Philipp & Peter, Frauke & Wiederhold, Simon, 2021. "Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    8. Kuchirko, Yana A. & Coskun, Lerzan Z. & Duch, Helena & Castaner, Maria Marti & Gennetian, Lisa A., 2021. "Light-touch design enhancements can boost parent engagement in math activities," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    9. Meredith Phillips & Sarah J. Reber, 2019. "Does Virtual Advising Increase College Enrollment? Evidence from a Random Assignment College Access Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 26509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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